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Thursday, 18 December 2014

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Plans to bury nuclear waste in west Cumbria set to be turned down

Proposals to bury a million tonnes of low-level radioactive waste near Distington are set to be turned down today.

County councillors meet this morning to rule on Endecom UK’s planning application for Keekle Head, Pica.

Planning officers say the scheme should be turned down.

A report from Paul Feehily, the council’s assistant director – planning and sustainability, argues there is no need for it.

In any case, it may be better to dispose of low-level waste at existing nuclear sites rather than ship it to Keekle Head.

The report says: “The dispersal and proliferation of any type of radioactive waste management facilities away from established nuclear sites creates a negative image of Cumbria and west Cumbria in particular.

“This could deter investment from the non-nuclear sector and damage prospects for much needed economic diversification, growth and regeneration.”

It adds that there is no evidence the development would “give rise to unacceptable health risks” but it would have an “unacceptable impact” on the landscape.

The report concludes: “There is no demonstrable overriding and present need for this facility, no need or potential benefits that would outweigh the adverse impacts.”

Endecom says the 170-acre site would handle 20,000 tonnes of waste a year for 50 years.

Most would come from decommissioned plant and buildings at Sellafield.

It would arrive at a waste reception building in drums or sealed bulk bags.

A proportion would be diverted to a verification suite to have radioactivity levels measured.

Waste deemed fit for disposal would be taken to a containment area.

There would be up to 30 jobs during construction and 15 permanent jobs once it opened.

The county council has received a huge number of objections.

Nearly 400 people signed a round-robin letter against the scheme. There were 36 written representations. Copeland Council says there is no need or justification for the facility.

Arlecdon and Frizington parish council is worried radioactivity could leak into groundwater.

Have your say

Store it above ground until a geologically suitable site is found in either Oxfordshire or Norfolk then bury it there.

Posted by rob edwards on 13 June 2013 at 12:56

if it is heer johnny get it sent down to london and get the underground dump built there as we dont want it

Posted by victor on 14 May 2012 at 22:23

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